New accolade for the Dunedin Consort!

Gramophone has awarded the Dunedin Consort’s gripping new performance of Bach’s ‘John Passion’ its highest accolade naming it ‘Recording of the Month’ in the March issue of the magazine!

This new recording marks the first time on record listeners can experience the Passion within its original liturgical context and features a star-studded cast including, Nicholas Mulroy, Matthew Brook, Robert Davies, Joanne Lunn and Clare Wilkinson.

‘…the increasingly impressive Nicholas Mulroy’s alert, lightly coloured Evangelist strikes a balance in which declamation and lyricism are equally ardent and equally touching, while Matthew Brook is a supple and authoritative Christus.’ Gramophone

Fans of Dunedin Consort will know that director John Butt is a master at using historical context to shine new light upon well-known choral works. Recreated for this recording is a Good Friday Vesper liturgy of a passion performance as it would have occurred during Bach’s time at Leipzig.

‘…naturalness and emotional honesty are what emerge from this tight-knit and perfectly paced ensemble Passion, in which Bach’s complex succession of recitatives, arias, choruses and chorales has surely seldom sounded so convincingly of a piece.’ Gramophone

Pre-order your copy now, join us for our tour dates (below) or visit Linn website to learn more about this exciting new recording!


Passion Tour Dates:

Wed 13th March at 7.30pm Aberdeen Music Hall John Passion Book Now Thu 14th March at 8pm Kelvingrove Museum, Glasgow John Passion Book Now Sun 17th March at 3pm The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh Matthew Passion  Book Now Mon 18th March at 7.30pm St John’s Kirk, Perth John Passion Book Now

Bach Passions Tour – March 2013


To mark the release of our latest CD, Bach’s John Passion, we embark on a tour that will see both of Bach’s passions performed accross Scotland during March.

The performance of Bach’s John Passion will contain elements of the recording of our liturgical reconstruction. Whilst the one hour long German sermon will not be read, we will perform organ chorale preludes, motets and hymns that not only are great pieces in their own right but that enhance the listening experience of Bach’s John Passion and provide a new revelatory shape and structure to this much loved piece of the choral repertoire.

2013 Passion Tour Dates:

Wed 13th March at 7.30pm Aberdeen Music Hall John Passion Book Now Thu 14th March at 8pm Kelvingrove Museum, Glasgow John Passion Book Now Sun 17th March at 3pm The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh Matthew Passion  Book Now Mon 18th March at 7.30pm St John’s Kirk, Perth John Passion Book Now

Winter Singing Workshops – Mozart’s Requiem


Dunedin’s popular workshops return this year! We will focus one of the greatest pieces of the classical period: Mozart’s Requiem.   The workshops will be led by John Butt and our regular Dunedin singers.   As in previous years the project will culminate in a performance, in conjunction with Glasgow University Choral Society, in Glasgow’s Bute Hall on Saturday 23 March. The weekend course will once again take place in Edinburgh, with day workshops planned for Aberdeen and Glasgow. Online bookings are now open. Remember if you attend our intensive weekend, you can participate in the day workshops free of charge!   You can find further details on our diary: WEEKEND COURSE – Further information Edinburgh: Friday 22nd February (6-9pm), Saturday 23r February (10am-6.30pm), Sunday 24th February (10am-4.30pm) St Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral, Parish Hall, Cathedral Lane, Edinburgh EH1   DAY WORKSHOP –  9th February  Glasgow: Further information University of Glasgow, Concert Hall (10-5pm).

John Butt awarded OBE in 2013 New Year Honours List

$p.titleWe are delighted to announce that John Butt is to become an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to music in Scotland.

John Butt has enjoyed so far a remarkable career in music. As a scholar, his work has been widely published and is acknowledged to be among the most original and insightful in recent years. Since 2003 his work with the Dunedin Consort has brought him and the company a host of accolades and awards, including both a Gramophone Award and Midem Awards for his recording of Handel’s Messiah in its original 1742 Dublin version. His work with the Dunedin Consort has seen the company expand from a purely vocal ensemble into Scotland’s pre-eminent baroque ensemble, one which is now in considerable demand.

John Butt says

“I am very pleased to receive this honour. It is a boost not only to me but also to the University of Glasgow and the Dunedin Consort. My work with these two exceptional organisations has allowed me to explore issues of research and performance practice in an unprecedented way. I could not have done any of the work that has led to this honour without their support but more importantly without the tireless patience of my wife Sally.”

Those who have worked with John closely will know how richly deserved this award is. His generosity, unbounded enthusiasm and contagious energy have inspired a generation of students, countless professional performers and numerous amateur musicians.    Congratulations John!

Messiah – Scottish Tour 2012

The evenings are drawing in and there is a nip in the air. It’s time to light the fire, fetch the decorations and get into the Christmas spirit with Dunedin Consort’s annual performance of Handel’s greatest oratorio, Messiah.

Join us for this traditional celebration of Christmas in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth or Glenrothes with Scotland’s award-winning Dunedin Consort directed by  John Butt. Take time out from the crowds and the mayhem to remember the true meaning of Christmas. Book early to avoid disappointment.

Glasgow Sat 8th December, 8pm  (Messiah Dublin Version, 1742) Kelvingrove Museum Further details and online booking TEL 0141 353 8000   Edinburgh Wed 19th December, 7.30pm Queen’s Hall Further details and online booking TEL 0131 668 2019   Perth Thu 20th December, 7.30pm Perth Concert Hall Further details and online booking TEL 01738 621 031   Glenrothes Fri 21th December, 7.30pm Rothes Hall Further details and online booking TEL 01592 611101

Dunedin Consort announces new internal structure

During the last two years, the activity of the Dunedin Consort has grown significantly. This has posed challenges to Dunedin’s management structure, particularly in view of the sharp increase in international profile, and the Board of Directors has been considering how to respond.

In reviewing the current structure we identified the need for strong leadership and clarity of decision making with a sharper focus on the management of the company and on its musical direction.  As a result of this review the Directors have decided that the current advisory roles of “Artistic Director” should end. These will instead be a single role of “Music Director” responsible for advising the Board on the broad artistic strategy. There will be a more senior role of Chief Executive, representing the Board, driving change and delivering all targets set by the Board.   We considered the skills and experience that each of these roles required and as a result, we have decided that John Butt should be the Music Director, and Alfonso Leal the Chief Executive.   Our repertoire continues to expand in the trajectory we have set with plans to perform and record more instrumental music, larger scale oratorios as well as earlier 17th century repertoire. This diversification of the repertoire will result in Dunedin having to build and draw upon a broader pool of artists. Whilst both Susan Hamilton and Philip Hobbs will no longer contribute to Dunedin as Artistic Directors, they of course remain an important part of the Dunedin family. Philip remains a key advisor on the recording strategy and Susan Hamilton will remain very much part of our very distinguished pool of artists.   I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has supported Dunedin. We would not have been able to achieve what we have without your help. We are fully committed to developing an excellent music company for Scotland and are positive that these plans, with your support, will help us achieve our goals.

Sir Muir Russell – Chairman of the Board of Directors

Cecilia Bernardini appointed as leader.

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Cecilia Bernardini as our new leader.  Many of you will already have had the pleasure of watching and hearing her play; I’m sure you’ll agree that her passionate and beautiful playing has greatly added to the performances she has already been involved in.

Cecilia is a highly sought after musician throughout Europe and we are very pleased that she’ll be working closely with John Butt on our future projects.  She says,

making music with John Butt has been one of the main reasons for me to want be part of the Dunedin Consort; I’ve rarely encountered a musician who has both such a profound knowledge of music and and at the same time a really fresh spontaneity on the stage.  I have always felt incredibly motivated and inspired by the musicians around me and I look forward to a longer collaboration as leader of the orchestra of the Dunedin Consort.

You can find out more about Cecilia on her website at

Be part of our world

In September we are embarking in one of our most ambitious projects to date. We are recording Bach’s John Passion in a way never done before and we need your help.

We aim to reconstruct the original liturgical context that a performance of Bach’s John Passion would have enjoyed, all of course informed by John Butt’s scholarship and research. This recording will include organ preludes, an extra motet and harmonised hymn verses performed by Glasgow University Chapel Choir and a congregational choir singing some hymns in unison, more or less exactly what would have happened in a Passion service in Leipzig in 1749. The recording will also give you the opportunity to download some sermons, from three different perspectives, from Linn’s website!   We are recruiting about  20 amateur singers to join Dunedin and Glasgow University Chapel Choir to form a congregational choir in a recording session of several hymns from an original Leipzig hymn book of 1682.   Auditions have now passed but do register your interest and will arrange a further date of auditions if demand is significant.   You will also need to be available for the recording session in the evening of the 12th of September and for 2 rehearsal sessions on the evenings of the 2nd and 9th of September.   We will be in touch soon with the music you will need to prepare.   We are really looking forward to this project and very much hope you have the time to be part of our world.

Dunedin Consort to open the Lammermuir Festival 2012

The Lammermuir Festival has become a firm event in the Scottish cultural calendar. Taking place in East Lothian, it presents great music in great venues accross the country.

We are delighted to be the opening act of this year’s festival with a performance of Bach’s John Passion.

If you love music, and exploring new places, then the Lammermuir Festival is perfect for you. Wonderful musicians perform great music in striking and sometimes unexpected locations across the beautiful Scottish county of East Lothian.   “ A resounding success… the Lammermuir Festival has a magnetism all of its own” The Scotsman

For further information visit

Wode Recording Released

Dunedin Consort has joined forces with Fretwork and The University of Edinburgh to explore the musical psalms collected by Thomas Wode.   Wode was determined to record and preserve as much as he could of the music of his time, whether composed by Scots or by English and continental composers known in Scotland.  The resulting collection of songs provides a unique insight into musical life in Scotland in the second half of the sixteenth century.   ‘The Wode Collection’ features works by well-known composers such as Thomas Tallis, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and Orlandus Lassus, alongside lesser known composers and a host of anonymous works.  The nuances of the pieces are highlighted by the talented Dunedin Consort singers with their celebrated one-voice-to-a-part delivery.  Enter the fascinating world of sixteenth century Scotland in Studio Master 192 quality today.

BBC The Great Composers Magazine recommends Dunedin

We would naturally recommend our own recordings of Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s Matthew Passion, but are always delighted when others agree with us. A special edition from BBC Music Magazine focusing on the lives and essential works of The Great Composers lists both our Messiah and Matthew Passion as the recommended recordings.

Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s Matthew Passion represent two fundamental pillars of the Western European music tradition. Our recording of Handel’s Messiah won the Gramophone Award in 2007 for best baroque vocal recording and a MIDEM award. Bach’s Matthew Passion is not short of accolades receiving the best recording 2008 by High Fidelity magazine.

Dunedin’s success on both the platform and the recording market is testament to the passion and commitment of our artists.

Both recordings are available digitally on Linn Records who currently holds the Gramophone Label of the year award.

No 11

No 11

16 December 2010



It is with great pleasure and surprise that we announce that the Dunedin Consort has been ranked as no. 11 in The Gramophone Magazine’s recent search for the top 20 choirs of the world. This follows on from a similar survey last year of the top orchestras in the world, which featured only one British orchestra. This time British groups dominate the list, with the Monteverdi Choir taking the top spot. Placed ahead of such world-famous institutions as King’s College Choir, the Tallis Scholars and the Arnold Schoenberg Choir, Dunedin is clearly established as a key player on the world stage. Some might be surprised that we are counted as a choir at all, since the group consists of a constantly changing format of singers and instrumentalists, according to the requirements of the music concerned; the ‘choir’ element often comprises only four or five voices. Might we even be able to claim that we are the highest ranking ‘non-choir’ on the list?

Linn Records Label of the year

We are delighted to announce that our recording partner Linn Records has won the Gramophone label of the year award.

On Friday 1st October, at the annual Gramophone Awards, Linn was named Label of the Year. For Linn, winning this prestigious award is the culmination of nearly three decades of work, and represents the dedication of a team striving to give the you the best music, with no compromises on quality or support of our artists.   To hear Gramophone’s Editor-in-Chief James Jolly describing Linn as “…the very model of a modern record company”  was, well, music to our ears.   Celebrate with 3 for 2 on all Linn Albums   To help celebrate this momentous occasion, we are offering 3 albums for the price of 2 across all Linn Records titles be it Studio Master download, SACD or even 180g Vinyl; with the offer running until 31st October 2010. Simply use the promotion code 3FOR2 when checking out.   Don’t know where to start? Well, our the award-winning albums below is a good place, or perhaps our specially selected range of highlights.   Previous Linn Award-Winners   Recent Gramophone Award ceremonies have seen many of Linn’s artists singled out for their outstanding recordings.   In 2010 the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Sir Charles Mackerras was a Finalist in the Orchestral Album of the Year category for their album Mozart Symphonies 29, 31 (Paris), 32, 35 (Haffner) & 36 (Linz) whilst Phantasm was a Finalist in the Early Music Album of the Year category for their album, John Ward: Consort music for five and six viols.   2009 saw another two recordings highlighted: Henry Purcell: Ten Sonatas in Four Parts by Retrospect Trio was a Finalist in the Baroque Instrumental Album of the Year category and the Dunedin Consort’s Acis and Galatea (Original Cannons Performing Version 1718) was a Finalist in the Baroque Vocal Album of the Year category.   James Gilchrist flew the flag for Linn at the 2008 Awards with a Finalist nod in the Solo Vocal Album of the Year category for this album with the Fitzwilliam Quartet and pianist Anna Tilbrook, On Wenlock Edge.   Linn’s biggest triumph, prior to being named ‘Label of the Year’ came in 2007 when the mighty Dunedin Consort scooped the Baroque Vocal Album of the Year Award for their recording of Handel’s Messiah (Dublin Version, 1742).  This superb two-disc album was later released on 180g vinyl in a beautiful 3 LP boxed set.   Many thanks to all who contributed to these successes, we will be working hard to bring you more award-winning recordings in the future.

John Butt joins prestigious Council

David Willetts, Minister for Universities & Science, has announced the appointment of John Butt and three other academics to the governing body, the Council, of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Council members are appointed by the Minister for Universities and Science and are responsible for the overall strategic direction of the AHRC including its key objectives and targets, and key decisions about the research direction of the AHRC.

Each year the AHRC provides approximately £112 million from the Government to support research and postgraduate study in the arts and humanities, from languages and law, archaeology and English literature to design and creative and performing arts. In any one year, the AHRC makes approximately 700 research awards and around 1,350 postgraduate awards. Awards are made after a rigorous peer review process, to ensure that only applications of the highest quality are funded. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK.

Lammermuir Festival

The Dunedin Consort & Players have been chosen to close a new and exciting music festival which will run from the 10th to the 19th September 2010. The Lammermuir Festival will feature many major artists, ensembles and orchestras in a host of intriguing venues across East Lothian, Scotland, including historic buildings and on board Concorde.

The Lammermuir Festival is the first of its kind for this historic region whose outstanding natural beauty, boasting the Lammermuir Hills on one side and spectacular cliffs and seascape on the other, has greatly influenced the programming and choice of venues.

The Dunedin Consort have been chosen to provide the grand finale to the festival with a performance of J. S. Bach’s ‘Mass in B Minor’ at St Mary’s Church, Haddington on the 19th September.   For more information please visit